Cleveland Park Siren Alerts Us All

Where was the noise coming from?

By Jim Iovino
|  Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009  |  Updated 12:09 PM EDT
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Cleveland Park Siren Alerts Us All

We're awake now.

Heard a very loud siren when you woke up Wednesday morning in Cleveland Park?  You're not alone.

The NBC4 newsroom received a lot of calls about the loud noise.  It could even be heard from the newsroom up in Tenleytown.

One person who wrote in to us said:

"There is a deafening noise coming from Intelstat building at the corner of Connecticut Ave and Van Ness street NW. It started at 5:30AM and has not stopped. Residence are awake and alarmed but no one knows what it is. Police were called, came by briefly and left."

So what was it? 

The Department of Emergency Management told News4 Wednesday morning that it was someone's house alarm in the 3500 block of Macomb Street NW.  However, commenters below pointed out they didn't think a house alarm could be that loud.  After calling the DEM back, they were sticking with their story, saying that a home alarm was the culprit.

However, we later received a tip that the sound came from the University of the District of Columbia.  A letter was sent out to the UDC community late Wednesday morning:

Dear UDC Community:

At approximately 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 29 an alarm on the roof of Building 39 (on the corner of Van Ness and Connecticut Ave.) went off for about 90 minutes. The alarm was not promptly silenced because it is not part of the University's systems. It appears that the alarm may be part of a Municipal Civil Defense system. The University has contacted the appropriate District and Federal agencies to resolve this concern. The University will be reaching out to its neighbors with additional information and a special contact number should they have and questions or concerns. Again, the University apologizes for any disruption to our neighbors.

Respectfully,
Jacquelyn Boynton
Assistant Vice President for Marketing, Communications, and Alumni Relations

Boynton said that several crisis alarms were installed there in 1975, but current university staffers weren't aware of them and aren't even sure if they have a use anymore.  So they're checking with D.C. and federal officials to see what should be done with them, and who to contact if the old system goes off again in the future.

And as for the HSEMA, we're still wondering about that home alarm you told us about...

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